Going green is something that touches every aspect of the way we choose to live, but one of the best ways to live an ecofriendly lifestyle is to start by greening your home. There’s hardly an aspect of your home and way of living that can’t be transformed. It all makes for a healthier home and a healthier planet too.

There may not be a whole lot you can do about the structure of your home, but if you do decide on renovations, look out for the green options all the way down the line. If you’re redoing the bathroom or kitchen go for energy saving fittings and appliances. If they cost a bit more remember they’ll pay for themselves in a surprisingly short space of time.

Home décor is easier and less expensive to deal with if you’re going green. The keywords are natural and recycled materials. Every home has some plastic items but the fewer you have the better; some are hazardous to your health. Why would anyone want stackable plastic chairs when you can make rustic benches and swing seats by recycling wood? What looks and feels better – a gleaming, natural wood floor with cotton or wool rugs? or a synthetic carpet laced with chemicals?

Going green means doing your research and knowing your options. For example, lots of people don’t realise that if you’re painting your home you have the option of ecofriendly paints that are just as effective as the petroleum-derived alternatives. When you buy things for the home think about the history of things. Has the item been made from sustainable resources? Has it been flown in from thousands of miles away? Are the manufacturers an ethical company? It’s not just about making your home look ‘natural’ or organic. Going green deals with all sorts of issues that are invisible till you scratch the surface.

Nevertheless, looks and functionality are always important in the home, and going green may mean some small sacrifices. Disposable products may be quick and easy but the traditional materials like ceramic, earthenware and glass kitchen goods have low environmental impact. The positive is that natural materials always have the aesthetic edge.

Recycling materials and making your own wherever possible is another green initiative to embrace. You can customize the look of your home, and often you can create what you want for a fraction of the retail price. Hand-made is organic, and organic is beautiful.

A green inspired home is in touch with the environment. Even if you don’t have a yard or even a patio, plants always have a place. Grow your own herbs on the windowsill instead of buying glass bottles. You can even grow salad vegetables indoors most of the year. Going green means going local, and your own home is as local as it gets. A compost bin should be a green staple. They can take years to fill up – and that’s a whole load of waste that hasn’t used gas to be taken away by the garbage truck. Going green isn’t just a look – it’s a feeling – knowing you’re living the best life you can, for yourselves and the earth.

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